Music

SUBJECT Curriculum Map

Intent

 

Music is a dynamic subject which provides students with a creative outlet for expression. Students are encouraged in their study of both practical elements, including ensembles and the development of performance skills, to written forms such as composing and the history and analysis of music repertoire. Music lessons are planned and delivered in line with the National Curriculum. Students are encouraged to contribute to school life and in the performance opportunities that are cultivated through involvement in concerts and liturgical music support. Music enriches the soul and helps students to share in the family spirit which is so rich within our school community.

 

The Convent places as much importance on imparting the academic side of music as the practical, focusing on using correct terminology and using listening skills to accurately analyse unfamiliar pieces of music. This becomes important in GCSE and A-Level, where analysis is what the final exams consist of.

 

Analysis is prevalent throughout Key Stage 3 as this skill is necessary at GCSE and A-level, therefore students are introduced to the elements of music and are expected to learn and use relevant terminology when speaking and describing music.

 

The Key Stage 4 GCSE course follows the OCR syllabus which covers three key skills of musicianship. In addition, students are taught the rudiments of music theory based on staff notation and instrumental score and are taught to use the music technology programme for producing scores of their own original compositions.

 

The Key Stage 5 A Level course follows the Eduqas syllabus which allows students to choose whether to specialise in composition or performance. Students create their own compositions drawing on influences from styles of music studied throughout the course. Students develop overall musicianship, with focus on stagecraft and presentation within performance, development of thematic material within composition and improving on listening and analysis through practice and listening to a large variety of music.

 

Term 1 2 3 4 5 6
Year 7 Harry Potter and the Elements of Music

 

Through this introductory unit, the students learn about the elements of music and the language to use when describing some of them. This scheme was devised with the intention of channelling pupil’s intrigue and enthusiasm for the films and books of Harry Potter through the study of the musical elements and basic devices.

 

We develop an understanding of the orchestra and the families of instruments and special focus is given to Dynamics, Rhythm, Tempo, Texture and Melody.

 

This is important as it forms the basis of listening to and appraising music at a more detailed level. These keywords are constantly reviewed throughout the rest of the units.

African Drumming

 

 

Using the vocabulary and rhythmic knowledge built in half term 1, students begin to further their knowledge in rhythmic devices.

 

Throughout this unit, students learn about reading and writing rhythms whilst exploring the genre of African drumming.

 

We research and gain an understanding of the origins of African drumming and incorporate practical music making and composing with djembes. We then look at the identity of this music within a modern cultural society.

 

Through this, students learn how to identify important instruments associated with African drumming as well as more complex rhythmic devices, such as polyrhythm and call and response.

 

The importance of this unit is to create opportunities for students to build confidence performing and composing in front of one another while also learning about a genre of music which is rich in culture and history.

Carnival!

Rhythms of South America

 

Continuing their exploration of rhythms from around the world (a unit explored in more detail at GCSE) students explore the rhythms of South America, particularly focusing on Samba and Salsa.

How rhythm is used in different parts of the world is a key focus of these two units.

 

Students are shown different examples of Samba and Salsa and are encouraged to bring in their own examples through homework research and suggested exploration. Students are also encouraged to hone their listening skills by listening to these pieces at home as we begin identifying different structures and new timbres.

 

Students begin to lead their own rehearsals and work towards a final performance of either Salsa or Samba. Through this, students use terminology to feedback to peers and begin to lead rehearsals based on marking criteria they need to meet.

 

 

 

Sing!

 

 

Students revisit an exploration of melody, one of the elements of music covered, in the first half term.  Building on their developed use of rhythmic notation learnt in half term 3, students begin to look at how sound is created and how different pitches are written.

 

Students learn the anatomy of the voice and the different aspects that impact vocal quality. Students explore a variety of vocal warm up techniques and how these help achieve different vocal techniques.

 

Students also learn the importance of setting long term and short term goals as they lead their rehearsals in preparation for the final performance at the end of term.

Students will then use these to assess themselves, using a range of terminology learned throughout the unit.

 

Students are also encouraged to listen to different styles of singing at home to broaden their knowledge of musical styles and how the voice is changed to adapt to different styles. They will be given suggestions and asked to share songs they would like to show the rest of the class.

 

 

Gospel Music

 

 

This unit concentrates on the origins of Gospel music.

Building on students’ vocal knowledge from half term 4, students explore a style of music based entirely around the use of the voice. This will enable students to embed keywords previously learned in their practice.

 

By the end of this unit all students will be able to explain the role of spirituals in traditional African music and define some characteristics of spirituals.

 

Students will learn different gospel songs and spirituals and use the singing skills learned from the previous term to lead their own rehearsals and planning.

 

Students will also learn about the importance of singing in prayer and we will compare spirituals to modern gospel music.

 

Students will be encouraged to listen to gospel music at home and to bring in suggestions to share.

 

Keyboard Skills (Pachelbels Canon)

 

With their developed sense of pitch and listening skills learned over the course of the last two terms, students are introduced to the keyboard, a key instrument in composing and accompaniment. Students will, by now be able to associate written pitches and rhythms with the keyboard and put all the skills they have learned over the course of the year into practice. Students are also given the opportunity to learn about the Baroque period of music, a key Area of Study at GCSE.

 

Students are introduced to the stylistic features of Baroque music through Pachelbel’s canon, although focus is given to the use of compositional features in modern music.

 

Students will learn more about the period of baroque and be introduced to basic music theory, including reading notes from a stave and identifying different rhythmic values.

 

Term 1 2 3 4 5 & 6
Year 8 Instrumental Skills

 

Having developed their keyboard skills in the final term of year 7, these skills are revisited in half term 1 of year 8 in addition to developing their skills in playing another instrument.

 

Students are introduced to the four chord song and begin to learn about how harmony (Chords) is used in music. Particular attention is given to how harmony can remain the same while other elements of music are changed to create different songs.

 

Students are also introduced to a new instrument, the ukulele. They will learn the different parts of the instrument and how sound is created and altered in string instruments.

 

Students will also be taught how to tune their own ukuleles by comparing pitches to adjust the strings. This will help fine-tune listening skills and give students a greater understanding of the instrument. This will involve learning how to read chord symbols and the importance of fluency in performance.

 

This will lead to a final performance of a four chord song, performed in groups.

 

Song Writing 101

 

With their developed instrumental skills, students are now introduced to the four chords used in many pop songs in order to aid them in their own compositions.

 

Through this unit, students learn the basics of song writing as well as the overall structure of a pop song. Students look at songs which have traditional verse-chorus structures. These can be taken from any era as long as they follow a four chord harmony and verse-chorus structure.

 

They learn to construct lyrics with different rhyming schemes and compose their own melodies over chords they have chosen.

 

Students are also given the option to compose on either piano or on Ukulele. Which will give them the opportunity to combine instruments and compare textures (the layering of different instruments)

 

These songs could be saved and used in the festival later in the year.

Musical Theatre

 

The focus is moved to listening and performance, learning about a style of music which uses many compositional techniques students can later apply to their own work. The performance skills used in this Unit are significantly more advanced and require the skills developed in term 1 and 2 in order to fully understand and explore.

 

Students learn about the development of musical theatre and how music is used to explore characters and the story.

 

Through this, students learn the importance of motif and how it can be used to highlight plot points and foreshadow later events in a musical. We will look at specific examples of this, such as Hamilton, Wicked, Westside story etc.

 

Students attempt to make their own motifs based on cartoon characters, changing The elements of music based on the individual qualities of the character.

 

Students work toward a performance of a song from Hamilton, learning how Hamilton has changed the face of musical theatre and how different styles of music can be incorporated into the single genre that is musical theatre.

 

 

Film Music

 

Film music is one of the four Areas of study at GCSE, therefore students are expected to continue developing their listening skills and use of key words. The use of themes and motifs are revisited, however an exploration of the instruments in the orchestra is conducted.

 

In this unit students begin to analyse film music, learning about how modern film music can affect a scene and the importance of film music within different genres (Horror, Romantic, Thriller, Action etc.)

 

Students will have the opportunity to compose their own film music according to a story set.

 

Students will learn about storyboarding, leitmotif, Mickey Mousing (the act of matching music to film) and different prominent composers of modern film music.

 

Students will work on their composition and listening skills culminating in a short composition which will be performed in class. This will be a strong starting point for the film music unit at GCSE.

 

 

The Journey of Pop Music

 

Students end their Key Stage 3 with a unit based on a GCSE Area of Study. The unit will utilise the listening, composition and performance skills that students have developed from the beginning of year 7 and culminate in a final performance.

 

This unit encompasses the whole of the summer term, covering the journey of popular music from the nineteen sixties to the present day.

 

Students learn to listen to and analyse music from different eras and begin to recognise the characteristics found in each era.

 

Students are given the opportunity to compose within these styles and to perform one of the songs we look at in detail.

 

These skills will be necessary should they choose to continue music at GCSE level.

 

The work they create in this term will have the possibility of being performed at the arts festival planned for the end of the year, although, only the best pieces of work will be performed.

 

This unit is extended to a full term so that students are afforded the time and opportunity to fully explore Popular music through composition, performance and building on listening skills.

 

Term 1&2 3&4 5&6
Year 9 Basic Music Theory & Compositional Skills

 

Students beginning the GCSE music course are taken through the basics of music theory, through exploration of the GCSE specification. They also develop an understanding of and the use of the elements of music in analysis through examination of songs of their choice.

 

Many of these basics are covered throughout Key Stage 3, however these are refreshed and looked at in more detail.

 

The structure of pop music is refreshed and students work on creating their own pop songs and lyrics to go with them.

 

Students are also introduced to the GCSE performance criteria and begin to practise performance pieces. These will be performed in class and possibly in school events. This will begin to develop their knowledge of the grading criteria as well as work on their own listening and analysis skills. Using musical terminology learned throughout the term will be strongly encouraged.

 

AoS 4 – Film music

 

With the basics of music theory and composition understood in the first term of Year 9, students are able to then apply these skills when learning about Film Music. Film music is covered in year 8, which is why we cover it first in the GCSE curriculum. Students respond well to film music and engage with it, making it easier for them to apply their listening skills taught in the previous term.

 

As part of the GCSE, students learn and explore music from four distinct areas. These are the areas that the GCSE exam at the end of year 11 will be based on. Throughout the GCSE, students are introduced to each of these areas individually, giving them the opportunity to learn about specific features found in each of them and a chance to compose in a similar style. Film music is Area of Study 4.

 

Students’ use of the elements of music for analysis is developed and refined while learning about film music.

 

Students learn about key features in film music, such as leitmotif, mickey mousing and begin to apply these into their own compositions. Students also learn about the process film composers take to create pieces of music for film.

 

Students become aware of how music is used to create an atmosphere for a scene and how the absence of music can change it. Students are also introduced to the use of dissonance to create unease in the listener.

 

The main focus of this unit will be for students to learn to draw links between the mood composers have created and how the elements of music have been used to do that.

 

Through listening to film music examples, students learn more advanced music theory and begin to work on their listening skills in more depth, identifying use of pedal notes, dissonance and specific timbres. This will also help students identify motifs manipulated and used throughout pieces of music.

 

These elements will also be explored within game music.

 

Students will be given short mock papers based on this Unit to test their knowledge of the topic and prepare them for exam condition

 

AoS 2 – Concertos Through Time

 

Using the listening and appraisal skills built over the course of the year, students are now equipped to tackle one of the more complex units. Concertos through time covers Classical, Baroque and Romantic music/

 

As part of the GCSE, students learn and explore music from four distinct areas. These are the areas that the GCSE exam at the end of year 11 will be based on. Throughout the GCSE, students are introduced to each of these areas individually, giving them the opportunity to learn about specific features found in each of them and a chance to compose in a similar style. Concerto Through Time is Area of Study 2.

 

During this unit, students learn about the development of the concerto from the 1600s. This takes us through Baroque, Classical and Romantic style music.

 

Students learn the difference between Concerto Grosso and Concerto Solo, beginning to use keywords such as ‘Tutti’, ‘Cadenza’ and ‘Continuo’.

 

A large focus is placed on the elements of music, learning and developing listening skills to identify different texture types (Homophonic, polyphonic, contrapuntal etc.), identify different sections of structure based on changes in tempo and tonality.

 

Through this, students develop their listening skills and begin to create their own links between the elements of music and unfamiliar pieces as this will be the content found in the GCSE exam.

 

Students are strongly encouraged to listen to concertos from these time periods and identify time signatures, tempo, tonality and section changes.

 

Through this term, students focus on Baroque and Classical, identifying the features found in music of that time and learning about the context surrounding this music.

 

 

Term 1&2 3&4 5&6
Year 10 AoS 2 -Concertos Through Time

 

The concertos through time unit is continued and revisited, making sure that any information given has been assimilated into the new year.

 

As part of the GCSE, students learn and explore music from four distinct areas. These are the areas that the GCSE exam at the end of year 11 will be based on. Throughout the GCSE, students are introduced to each of these areas individually, giving them the opportunity to learn about specific features found in each of them and a chance to compose in a similar style. Concertos Through Time is Area of Study 2.

 

During this unit, students learn about the development of the concerto from the 1600s. This takes us through Baroque, Classical and Romantic style music.

 

Through this, students develop their listening skills and begin to create their own links between the elements of music and unfamiliar pieces.

 

Students also begin to work on their essay writing skills and become more familiar with the content found in exams.

 

A large focus is placed on the elements of music, learning and developing listening skills to identify different texture types (Homophonic, polyphonic, contrapuntal etc.), identify different sections of structure based on changes in tempo and tonality.

 

Through this, students develop their listening skills and begin to create their own links between the elements of music and unfamiliar pieces as this will be the content found in the GCSE exam.

 

Students are strongly encouraged to listen to concertos from these time periods and identify time signatures, tempo, tonality and section changes.

 

These details are then translated into answering exam style questions in essay formats, paying particular attention to using keywords required by the mark scheme and writing cohesive answers to access the top grades available.

 

Through this term, students cover Baroque and Classical music in more detail and are also introduced to Romantic music, identifying the features found in music of that time and learning about the context surrounding this music

 

Students will be given short mock papers based on this Unit to test their knowledge of the topic and prepare them for exam conditions

AoS 5 – Conventions of Pop (1950’s – 1980’s)

 

‘Conventions of Pop’ are studied after Concertos through time, as the analytical and listening skills needed have been developed through concertos through time. This means that the genre will not be underestimated based on its relation to their own interests.

 

As part of the GCSE, students learn and explore music from four distinct areas. These are the areas that the GCSE exam at the end of year 11 (40% of Overall Grade) will be based on. Throughout the GCSE, students are introduced to each of these areas individually, giving them the opportunity to learn about specific features found in each of them and a chance to compose in a similar style. Conventions of Pop is Area of Study 5.

 

Students explore popular music from the 1950s to 1980s, starting with the roots of rock ‘n’ roll in the 50s and how it changed and reflected the context of its time. Students learn about the “invention” of the “teenager” and how music adapted to suit the younger generation of the decade, as well the musical techniques and elements employed at the time.

Students are then introduced to the Rock anthems of the 70s and 80s, learning about key artists of the times including Queen, Bon Jovi and Guns n’ roses.

 

Through this, we also review how the elements of music were used and changed to suit the style, using these elements to compose our own pieces of music in that style.

 

Students are given two mock recording days in order to assess how their performance skills have developed and identify areas for improvement.

 

Students also begin work on their free compositions, using the elements that they have learned to influence their composing. Most students will have finished a first draft of this composition by the end of the school year.

 

 

 

AoS 5 – Conventions of Pop (1970’s – Present Day)

 

Students continue learning about Conventions of Pop throughout the second term, with a focus on music from the 70’s to present day.

 

As part of the GCSE, students learn and explore music from four distinct areas. These are the areas that the GCSE exam at the end of year 11 will be based on. Throughout the GCSE, students are introduced to each of these areas individually, giving them the opportunity to learn about specific features found in each of them and a chance to compose in a similar style. Popular music is Area of Study 5.

 

Students explore popular music from the 1970s to the present day, continuing on from the work done in the previous term. Students learn about the pop ballads of the 70s, 80s and 90s, listening to music by artists like Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Bette Midler and Elton John. Particular focus is given to the use of technology in these decades, the introduction of the synth and the use of multi-track recording.

 

Students are then introduced to Solo artists from the 90s to present day, including Beyoncé, Ariana Grande, Michael Jackson and Adele.

 

Through this, we also review how the elements of music were used and changed to suit the style, using these elements to compose our own pieces of music in that style.

 

Students are given two mock recording days in order to assess how their performance skills have developed and identify areas for improvement.

 

Students also begin work on their free compositions, using the elements that they have learned to influence their composing. Most students will have finished a first draft of this composition by the end of the school year.

 

Students will be given short mock papers based on this Unit to test their knowledge of the topic and prepare them for exam conditions

Term 1&2 3&4 5&6
Year 11 AoS 3 – Rhythms of the World

 

‘Rhythms of the world’ is studied at this point to begin the new term with a journey around the world. The listening skills necessary should now be second nature, allowing students to focus on the new keywords related to each culture.

 

As part of the GCSE, students learn and explore music from four distinct areas. These are the areas that the GCSE exam at the end of year 11 will be based on. Throughout the GCSE, students are introduced to each of these areas individually, giving them the opportunity to learn about specific features found in each of them and a chance to compose in a similar style. Rhythms of the World is Area of Study 3.

 

Students learn about music from other parts of the world:

 

–          India and Punjab

–          Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East

–          Africa

–          Central and South America

 

Students learn about different instruments and scales found in other parts of the world and have the opportunity to experiment in composition and performance.

 

Students will be given short mock papers based on this Unit to test their knowledge of the topic and prepare them for exam condition

 

Students also record their solo and ensemble performances and complete their free composition.

 

Students begin to experiment with the stimuli in the brief released in September.

 

 

AoS 4 – Film music

 

Film Music is revisited in this term in order to recap and highlight any areas for development as the Unit won’t have been covered since year 9. Students will also be given past papers and practice questions based on all of the Areas of study in order to prepare them for their written exam.

 

As part of the GCSE, students learn and explore music from four distinct areas. These are the areas that the GCSE exam at the end of year 11 will be based on. Throughout the GCSE, students are introduced to each of these areas individually, giving them the opportunity to learn about specific features found in each of them and a chance to compose in a similar style. Film music is Area of Study 4.

 

Students review and revise film music, covering the keywords and sitting mock exam questions to prepare for the exam.

 

Students revise the key features in film music, such as leitmotif, Mickey Mousing. Students also revise the process film composers take to create pieces of music for film.

 

Students are reminded how music is used to create an atmosphere for a scene and how the absence of music can change it. Students are also introduced to the use of dissonance to create unease in the listener.

 

The main focus of this unit will be for students to practise drawing links between the mood composers have created and how the elements of music have been used to do that.

 

Through listening to film music examples and assessing their own exam answers, students learn more advanced music theory and begin to work on their listening skills in more depth, identifying use of pedal notes, dissonance and specific timbres. This will also help students identify motifs manipulated and used throughout pieces of music.

 

These elements will also be explored within game music.

 

Students will be given short mock papers based on this Unit to test their knowledge of the topic and prepare them for exam condition.

EXAM SEASON

 

At the start of this period, students are offered opportunities to sit practice papers regularly and receive detailed feedback on their answers and how to improve them in time for the written exam.

Term 1&2 3&4 5&6
Year 12 Component 2 – Composition

 

Students begin developing ideas for their first composition, looking at the features and structures found in different styles of Western Classical Tradition.

 

Students are encouraged to find their preferred style to compose in and begin developing different melodic ideas into phrases.

 

Students are taught different cadences which can be used in their compositions, and different chords which can introduce drama and dissonance.

 

Component 1 – Performance

 

Students begin to develop performance skills, focusing on stagecraft and forming their own set lists dependent on preferred styles.

 

Students begin practising piece at a grade 6 standard as this will be the level at which they will need to perform in year 13

Students make the decision to specialise in either performance or composition at the end of this term. This term is their opportunity to continue experimenting with performance styles and composition styles.

 

Component 2 – Composition

 

Students continue developing their compositions, adapting them into a representation of a style found in Western Classical Tradition

 

Students also explore the elements in musical theatre, Jazz and Pop & rock.

 

Component 1 – Performance

 

Students continue to develop performance skills, focusing on stagecraft and forming their own set lists dependent on preferred styles.

 

As they experiment with their compositions focused on the areas of study detailed above, students also begin to focus their performances on those styles.

 

Students begin practising piece at a grade 6 standard as this will be the level at which they will need to perform in year 13

Component 2 – Composition

 

Students decide which style to base their free compositions on and use the work they have created to begin their final free composition.

 

Component 1 – Performance

 

Students finalise decisions on the pieces they will be performing for their assessment and have a mock performance which will be marked as assessed with feedback given to students for improvement.

 

Impact – The impact of Music at the Convent is long lasting, giving students the musicianship skills to proceed and pursue music beyond school and perform in the professional world. Students who study Music at the Convent develop into young musicians with compositional skills, performance skills and analytical skills, giving them the ability to study Music at University or find a job in the music industry.

 

Students who do not wish to study Music beyond key stage 3 benefit from increased confidence in standing and speaking/performing in front of others and in working and leading their own groups. Students are given the opportunity to participate and create something, regardless of skill, giving those students the focus and confidence to pursue the things they want.

 

Music is an accepting subject where students can feel free to be creative, while also learning the science behind the art. The hope of the Convent is that students leave feeling that they have accomplished and created something, in possession of skills which can be applied to other areas of life, even if music is not their pursuit.

 

Students are assessed on listening, practical and compositional skills, through regular checkpoints at every half term. Key Stage 3 students are given practical exams with questions on keywords and self-evaluation, while Key Stage 4 and 5 are assessed using the marking criteria from their relevant specifications.

 

These assessment points serve to give a broad overview of progress in the subject and highlight any areas of concern. Key Stage 4 and 5 students who are not making the expected level of progress are given extra resources and interventions in order to support them ahead of their exams. This could come in the form of one to one sessions/worksheets/extra activities/checklists etc.

 


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